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Analysis confirms 2008 group deficits

October 30, 2009

By Mark Graham

Newly filed IRS documents show that nearly half of all associations operated with a deficit in the year ending Dec. 31, 2008, according to an examination by CEO Update’s database partner AssociationIntelligence.

Previously, there has been anecdotal evidence of a struggling association sector, with indications ranging from smaller meetings to staff layoffs. Now, with a substantial portion of organizations starting to file the IRS Form 990, there is confirmation of the depth of the financial difficulty faced by associations in the last half of 2008.

Preliminary analysis shows that of organizations ending the fiscal year on the last day of 2008, 46.5 percent of associations operated at a deficit, double the rate of the past two years.

Not all associations have yet filed for 2008. The deadline to file Form 990 is Nov. 15, but CEO Update has analyzed the tax documents of more than half of the national associations and prominent nonprofits like AARP and the Conference Board.